The Dresden Files/Codex Alera is copyright Jim Butcher. This story is licensed under the Creative Commons as derivative, noncommercial fiction.
Title: Fidelacchius Chapter 3
Author: Travis Holley
Spoilers: "Cold Days"
Warnings: graphic violence, some harsh language
Summary: Short story about the sword Fidelacchius and a young man's faith
Fidelacchius chapter 3
Brandon watched the city roll by as the priest drove him toward the airport. The clothes weren't a tight fit, considering how thin he was from the lack of a constant diet, but Brandon was still rather uncomfortable. Everything was happening so fast and he didn't even know where he was going. Why would he need to go to the airport to find Kim? Had whatever the cat thing that the older man Michael called a Rakshasas taken her to some other state or something?
"What's wrong?" The reed thin priest driving the old sedan asked.
"Why am I getting onto a plane?" Brandon asked.
"I wish I knew. I was called and told to take you to the airport by a much more senior priest." The man answered, shaking his head. "I guess there is a flight that was prearranged for you."
Brandon felt extremely uncomfortable with that. He looked down at the cell phone that the priest had handed him before they left Michael's house. Someone was supposed to call him when he touched down wherever the plane was going to take him.
"It feels like everyone knows what's going on here except me." Brandon finally told the priest, after the silence had grown too heavy.
The priest laughed. "Tell me about it. I never knew the Catholic Church also offered taxi services."
Brandon didn't necessarily like the man's tone, but felt really uncomfortable about challenging him. They both remained silent until they managed to make it to the airport. The priest let him out at the private terminals.
"I'm told you're supposed to talk to someone named Raj. That's all I know." With that, the priest basically ignored Brandon as he got out of the car, then after the door was shut, sped off.
Brandon carried the case with him, along with a backpack that Charity had handed him. Upon inspection he found the backpack heavily laden with food, a couple changes of clothes, and a few basic toiletries. It seemed that ever since breaking in to that woman's house, he kept getting nothing but more questions instead of any real answers but at least people were being helpful now.
The reception area for the private terminal was empty of any travelers and the front information desk was also vacant. Brandon figured this was odd, but nothing about his situation was normal really. The concept that he had left his little brother with the man Michael weighed even more heavily on his heart, but for whatever reason he felt he could trust that family completely.
"You Brandon?" A medium height Indian man asked from off to his right.
"Yes, sir." Brandon answered, walking toward the man.
"I am Raj, I work for the Venatori." The man explained, extending his hand. "You don't know of the Venatori?" Brandon shook his head and couldn't take his eyes away from the pistol strapped to the man's side that he caught a glimpse of underneath the leather bomber jacket he wore.
"We have a long flight, so it's better that we have something to talk about, eh?" The man said and waved Brandon to follow him.
The large jet that they climbed up a set of stairs into turned out to be a cargo carrier. Crates and boxes were tightly packed against the walls of the interior. Brandon was shown a small hammock that was hung up between two large heavily secured containers.
"Settle in. It will be a minute while we take off." Raj smiled and walked toward the cockpit.
Brandon laid down in the hammock and before he knew it, he was fast asleep. When he woke, he heard the loud throaty sound of the jet engines and the sensation of motion. He walked toward the cockpit, feeling curious about the man Raj.
"There is the sleepy one!" Raj remarked, turning to face him in the copilot chair.
"Was I sleeping long?" Brandon asked, peering out the window and finding nothing but dark sky staring back at him.
"Only about twelve hours!" Raj commented, laughing.
"Sorry." Brandon looked down at the floor in embarrassment.
"Nonsense! Very few of us that are called to hunt find it easy when we first encounter those things that, how do you Americans say, go bump in the night." Raj smiled and turned toward the pilot. "This is my brother, Rahe. We fly cargo for the Venatori, best smugglers in the business!" Brandon watched as both men smiled proudly.
"What are the Venatori?" Brandon asked.
"We are hunters. Best way to explain it." A tall British man in a very expensive silk suit explained as he walked in from the back of the plane. "I saw you awaken, and didn't get a chance to introduce myself. I am Nathan Wellington the fourth." Brandon shook the offered hand.
"Isn't he a bit young to be running off to other countries to fight India's oldest terrors?" Rahe asked Nathan.
"They aren't all terrors, Rahe. Some of the Rakshasas are said to be proponents of peace." Raj admonished.
"Nonsense on the age also. This young man bested five Fomor single handed!" Nathan argued.
"I've trained since I was four in Kendo. I trained in Okinawa for eight years before my father was discharged and we came to live in the states. Luckily I had a sword when I saw them attacking that woman, Carol. If I wouldn't have had a sword, she would probably be dead." Brandon explained, uncomfortable with praise.
"Are we supposed to be less impressed, Brandon? You killed five Fomor with a sword when there are many that get slapped around by them when carrying much heavier weapons." Rahe asked, shaking his head. "Best strap in, we will be landing at the airstrip in another twenty minutes."
Brandon sat down in the offered folding seat and buckled up. The landing was a bit bumpy but it didn't bother him much. There was very little conversation until the plane was safely on the ground. When he disembarked, Brandon saw that they were on what could only be described as a somewhat paved private airstrip. There weren't any terminals and no tower to greet them. The mountainous terrain seemed devoid of human life.
"Where are we?" Brandon asked.
"Northern India." Rahe answered, following Brandon out of the aircraft. The man waved at a jeep that appeared from around some large boulders heading toward them. When they arrived, Brandon tried not to be shocked. The men were dressed in military fatigues and carrying enough weapons and ammunition for a small army in the jeep. He even noticed a rocket launcher hung on a weapon rack behind the driver.
"Good morning." Nathan greeted a tall spare man that stepped out of the passenger side.
"They arrived yesterday evening. The little girl appeared to be alive and she was bound and gagged." Brandon had seen the look in the man's eyes before. A number of his father's friends bore that look. Whoever this man was, he was no stranger to war and the darker side of humanity.
"Kim? You saw Kim?" Brandon asked, stepping closer. "Little girl about four feet tall with dark hair?"
"This is your contractor? You are mad if you think this boy is going to get into that compound." The man told Nathan.
"I have it on the word of someone I trust implicitly that he will." Nathan argued, setting his jaw.
"I won't have my men caring for a child while trying to save another child. This is dangerous enough." The man shook his head.
"Good, because your men aren't going in. Just him. You were asked to watch and report and get us to the grounds of the compound." Nathan explained. "Are you not going to honor your word?"
The dark Indian man with the hard eyes frowned. "I don't like this. I think it is offering this boy up to die. And these men here are smugglers."
"Sir, my sister doesn't know what's going on. She's probably scared out of her mind right now. I know I can get into any building I want to and I can fight." Brandon stood up and looked the man directly in the eye. He mustered every bit of courage he could with the challenge. After what felt like an hour, the hard eyed soldier finally relented.
"I will get you there, and give you what we know. After that, you are on your own until you get back out. Get in." He motioned to the back seat of the jeep.
Nathan followed Brandon into the back seat and the jeep left. "I thought I was supposed to get a phone call when I touched down?" Brandon asked him.
"I decided it was best if I came along." Nathan answered, watching the terrain roll by.
"How did you know they were coming here?" Brandon asked, still trying to get his bearings in the chaos of the situation.
"We were tracking the Rakshasas when it first came into Chicago. We had eyes on the building when you came and picked up your brother and I got a phone call from a very forceful Russian named Sanya telling me that we were to help you in any way we could in getting back your sister. The next phone call was from the man Michael telling me that you were being brought to his house. The rest you can figure out on your own." Nathan explained.
"That doesn't explain how you knew they were bringing her to India." Brandon countered.
"Rakshasas are very powerful creatures of magic from India. We hardly ever see them in the West so we had a Wizard track them and found they were using portals through our world and the Fairy realms to travel. He found where they crossed over here in India near a compound of a very wealthy and powerful man who we believe may be a dark sorcerer that is using ritual to gain influence with the Rakshasas." Nathan relayed.
"Dark sorcerer? Creatures of magic? Wizards?" Brandon's head began to swim with how crazy this all sounded.
"And a sword that mysteriously glows in the hands of a boy that fought off five incredibly dangerous and powerful monstrosities doesn't seem far-fetched to you, young man?" Nathan asked, his eyes alight with mischief.
"Sorry." Brandon remarked, turning his eyes away and staring at the mountains in the distance.
"Not at all. I had a son that would be your age if he was still alive." Nathan remarked. Brandon swung his head back around.
"What happened to him?" Brandon asked.
"Him and a number of his friends took a field trip with his academy to Mexico a few years back. When the body was returned to me, it was completely drained of blood." Nathan's eyes grew dark. "They told me it was an animal attack or some other such nonsense. So I started digging around and found reports of other things like this happening there. I tried to get the authorities involved, but they laughed at me for a fool. They told me I was insane with grief. That's when I was first approached by the Venatori.
"Ever since they showed me pictures of attacks by vampires and began introducing me to both the good and the bad of this clandestine supernatural community, I have made it my life's work to fight things like this man and his Indian demons." Nathan's voice had dropped in temperature so much that Brandon could almost feel the frost gathering in the air.
"I'm sorry about your son." Brandon offered. "My mother left us a few years back and then my father passed away."
Nathan reached over and patted Brandon on the back. "We will do everything we can to help you get your sister back, Brandon. I swear it."